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Tire sensors to be mandatory?
WSJ: Regulators to issue final rule requiring pressure monitors by 2008 model year.
April 6, 2005: 6:09 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON - Acting to prevent tire failures linked to deadly rollovers of sport-utility vehicles, federal regulators will issue a final rule this week requiring all new passenger cars and trucks to have individual tire-pressure- monitoring sensors by the 2008 model year, Wednesday's Wall Street Journal reported.

Tiny microchip sensors attached to each wheel will signal if any tire falls 25% below the recommended inflation pressure and trigger a dashboard warning light. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated the cost per vehicle to manufacturers at about $70 .

Auto makers must begin phasing in the tire-safety devices into new models in September. All new vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less will be required to come equipped with them by the 2008 model year.

The new requirement is similar to a proposal released in September. It is aimed at giving drivers a better chance of avoiding an accident because of a failing tire, although tire and auto makers continue to debate how low the tire pressure should fall before a warning light is triggered. Tire makers worry the new warning system won't signal low pressure early enough, while auto makers say drivers will ignore warning lights if they come on too often.

An NHTSA spokesman declined to comment on specifics of the new rule.

Wall Street Journal Staff Reporter Amy Schatz contributed to this report. Dow Jones Newswires 04-06-05 0031ET Copyright (C) 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  Top of page

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